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Cheap Eats

Burgerfication, near Boston University

Far left: BurgerFi cheeseburger with side of cry and fries. Below: strawberry shake and a fully loaded chicken apple dog.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff

BurgerFi cheeseburger with side of cry and fries.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff

A fully loaded chicken apple dog.

If you’re a late-rising college student, or anyone else whose first meal of the day happens around noon, you’re in luck. BurgerFi, a new burger-fries-and-shake joint near the west end of Boston University, has a meaty, eggy breakfast sandwich for you. “A lot of people say it’s a great way to get the day started after a rough night,” says general manager Jameson Almeida about the aptly named Breakfast All Day Burger ($6.97), an Angus beef patty topped with a fried egg (with a soft golden yolk), hash browns, and bacon. It’s a favorite, Almeida says, of hard-partying college students who have been flocking to the new spot, open since February.

Soon after opening, we’re in line in a crush of people. Extra managers are on hand, expediting food from the semi-open kitchen, and checking the accuracy of orders. Counter staff interrupt each other to tell us that this Florida-based chain (the Comm. Ave. location is the first BurgerFi franchise in the area) uses grass-fed, hormone-free beef. Green touches like energy-efficient bulbs, hanging from slick chrome meat hooks, and chairs made of recycled materials are examples of their environmental dedication. The name, pronounced “Burger-FIE,” refers to “Burgerfication of the Nation,” the chain’s cheeky intent to fry and conquer.

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On another visit, the extra managers are gone, counter staff aren’t quite so eager, and there’s a mix-up with our order (it’s quickly corrected). The beef is indeed delicious. A BurgerFi Burger ($5.57) features two juicy patties cooked medium with just a whisper of pink, plus whole-leaf iceberg lettuce, tomato, and a sweet mayo-based house sauce slathered on a soft potato bun, branded with the BurgerFi logo. The company uses a branding iron to literally sear the name into the bread. A cheeseburger ($5.97) on the same style bun with two patties, is topped with melted American. Both are classic, straightforward, and done right.

If these options seem ho-hum, you can customize. A section of the menu called “Build Your Best Burger” allows customers to select up to three patties, and adorn them with 15 free toppings such as jalapeno peppers and grilled onions, plus a dozen more items ($1 each), including chili, blue cheese, or a fried egg.

Non-beef options are surprisingly good. A chicken apple dog ($4.47), nestled in a soft yellow-hued bun, is split down the middle and loaded with toppings. We garnish it with yellow mustard, diced onions, and neon relish (an odd blue-green), then add sauerkraut (57 cents). The sausage yields a nice snap with each bite. It’s a messy but delicious bundle. A dining companion who eschews meat is pleasantly surprised by the VegeFi Burger ($6.97), a house-made quinoa-and-lentil-based patty that’s moist, well seasoned, and served on a multigrain bun.

Don’t miss the sides. Cry & Fries ($4.97), which combines onion rings and French fries, are some of the best we’ve had. Crispy beer-battered onion rings are cut generously and after their fat bath, they’re altogether addictive. Skin-on russet potatoes are twice-fried in peanut oil for delectable crunch. From the “secret menu” — that’s not so secret because it’s printed in the menu brochure — order urban fries ($3.94) tossed with Parmesan and drizzled with a kicky garlic aioli.

Wines by the glass ($4.97), draft beers ($2.97-$5.97), fountain drinks ($2.57), and fresh-squeezed lemonade ($2.97) are all here, as well as concretes ($5.57), frozen custard layered and blended with mix-ins like brownies, cookies, and caramel sauce. The strawberry shake ($4.47) — creamy, cold, and very pink — is topped with whipped cream and colored sprinkles.

At the table next to us, we notice a couple of well-dressed women enjoying a breakfast burger. So it’s not just the late-night college crowd that appreciates a patty, egg, and bacon nestled in a bun.

Ellen Bhang can be reached at bytheglass@globe.com.
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